Stuart Jeffery

Stop glyphosate: Bee happy in Kent

Maidstone Greens have sent a petition with over a thousand signatures to KCC’s environment chief, Cllr Carey, calling for an end to glyphosate use by the council. The petition comes just a day after the latest WWF report showed that two thirds of the animal population has been lost over the past 50 years. Despite being labelled as a herbicide, glyphosate is harmful to animals, particularly bees and is potentially carcinogenic to humans according to the World Health Organization.

KCC’s actions to support their Pollinator Action Plan also comes under criticism from the Greens. The plan pledged to improve the environment for bees but the Greens point out that the rhetoric in the plan is being ignored by the continues use of glyphosate.

Stuart Jeffery, Maidstone Green Party campaigner and Co-Chair of Kent Greens: “Despite the rhetoric of KCC’s Pollinator Action Plan, they continue to use one of the nastiest chemicals to control weeds across the county. Glyphosate is known to harm bees and the World Health Organization have stated that it is probably carcinogenic to people.

“There are alternatives to glyphosate and some councils have banned it use already. Hot water, manual weeding and concentrated vinegar are being used to control weeds elsewhere and these measures are not harmful to animals or people. While it may cost a little more in the short term, should the lawsuits in the US be replicated here, glyphosate’s use would be far more expensive.

“In addition, the news that two thirds of the global animal population has been wiped out over the past 50 years is beyond shocking and is clear evidence of the environmental catastrophe that humans have created. There is an urgent need for KCC to review it policy on glyphosate, and many other areas, and to start being part of the solution to the problem.”

Martin Whybrow, Green Party KCC Member for Hythe West: “Having brought the motion in 2019 to create a Pollinator Action Plan, too little has been achieved since then, including in relation to KCC’s use of pesticides. Even now, the working group that has taken this forward is merely talking about getting round to “reviewing the use of pesticides on the KCC estate” and “identifying opportunities” to reduce them in the third quarter of this year. Despite the best intentions of officers and a few good initiatives, the pace of change in the face of the biodiversity emergency has been poor. This needs proper leadership and urgent action from KCC.”

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